I took Steven to see the Minor Alps play at the Bowery Ballroom. Steven is the young man I was "falling in love with" last summer. It didn't work out, but I expected it not to, and anyway, I was never really falling in love with Steven, so it's okay. He was sort of dumb when I really think about it, but that's my type, after all. I felt bad when our affair ended, but only for two weeks, and then I was myself again. Whatever that is.
Steven got back in touch with me a few weeks ago, down on his luck. He'd quit one job and then was fired from the next. He honestly seemed confused about how to be. I am super-familiar with this kind of fellow, so I was unperturbed. I got him an interview at the company I work for, and I coached him on how to look for a job. I coached him on how to look at the world, at life itself. I took him out for dinner a couple of times, because I knew he was broke. We ended up at the Minor Alps show.
OMG, I loved this show, which I wasn't expecting. I had streamed the album and it sort of left me cold, but hearing the music live was different. The sunny boy-girl melodies were so sweet and sad that I found myself in my least favorite situation: yearning for human connection. I made the fateful decision to put my arm around Steven's shoulder, as one would with a friend. Steven immediately shrugged my arm off.
"Um, did you really just push me away?" I asked him, incredulous.
"I just don't want you to get the wrong idea, man," he replied.
The sunny boy-girl melodies reached a crescendo. Words fell. I explained to Steven exactly what I thought of him for a good few minutes, while he stood there looking at me. His face's arrogant quality (not an arrogance purely his own, but merely the arrogance of any 25-year-old) faltered a bit. As I methodically spoke my awful, awful sentences about his character, I could see a thought dawning on his face: Maybe ... I am not who I think I am. I'm sure my attack was a complete surprise. I played a passive role in our relationship - whatever he wanted to do, I would do. Even (shudder) in bed. I'm sure he had no inkling of the mild hatred I harbored towards him, the mild hatred I harbor toward anyone I sleep with, lurking under the surface like a cyst.
No matter! When one pushes a Scorpio away, one must prepare oneself for a retaliation totally out of proportion to the initial slight. As I rode home alone in a cab that night, I thought how strange it was that sometimes I forget how frighteningly mean I can be. But then I start dating again.